5 Ways Probiotics Can Benefit Pregnant Women
Published July 17th, 2020
Pregnancy is as equally an exciting time in a woman’s life as it is terrifying. On the one hand, you can’t wait to bring new life from your own DNA into this world. On the other are worries and anxieties you might have for yours and your child’s health.
A woman’s body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, aside from the growing belly. They may need extra care and attention, especially when it comes to their intake of nutrients. Since they’re going to be caring for two people now, they’re going to have to tweak their lifestyle and diet. And so here this is where probiotics enter the picture.
Probiotics have become one of the most intriguing topics we have in science today. Their rise in popularity can be attributed to the growing awareness and concern of people for their gut health. Probiotics can be described as the “good bacteria” inhabiting our body, most of which are in our gut. Their function is to keep the “bad bacteria” in check, creating an equilibrium. When harmful bacteria throw off your gut’s equilibrium, this can lead to several complications. These include Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and forms of diarrhea.
Here are five ways probiotics benefit pregnant women.
Probiotics increase nutrient absorption.
First-off, probiotics are safe to consume for pregnant women. I mentioned earlier that women have to change their diet when they become pregnant. This is because they’ll need much more macro and micronutrients than when they weren’t pregnant. It’s not too hard to believe that since occupancy has increased by one in their bodies.
There’s evidence that shows a required intake increase of nutrients in pregnant women. Despite knowing that, around 20-30% of pregnant women suffer from vitamin deficiency. Vitamin deficiency can lead to numerous defects and complications during pregnancy and in the child.
This leads us to probiotics’ role in the matter. Probiotics have been proven to increase our ability to absorb nutrients. Studies show that they increase the absorption of nutrients like protein and iron. These two nutrients are some of the more important ones during pregnancy.
Reduces risks of diseases and conditions during and post-pregnancy
Pregnancy poses a risk of contracting various diseases for both mother and child. Research supports probiotics having a positive impact in reducing the chances of gestational diabetes, infant eczema, atopic dermatitis, and postpartum depression. Probiotics have also been shown to promote vaginal health. This is especially important for pregnant women for natural births.
Reduces discomforts during pregnancy
Among the most well-known benefits of probiotics are its positive effects on bowel movement and health. Since probiotics mainly inhabit the gut, their impact on gut health is evident. A research study showed a 21% increase in the recovery rate from diarrhea after taking probiotics. It’s recommended to reduce all types of discomforts to improve the mother’s disposition during pregnancy.
Molds your child’s microbiome
One of the biggest concerns of parents is on their child’s health. Newborn babies are especially susceptible to infection by a wide range of bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and viruses. Mothers pass on their beneficial microbes during breastfeeding. To pass on beneficial microbes, they have to populate their bodies with these microbes first. They can do this by consuming probiotic-rich food or supplements.
Reduces the risk of pre-term delivery
A research paper was published in the “Journal of Clinical Gynecology & Obstetrics.” This research paper studied probiotics’ effects on preventing pre-term deliveries. The bacteria that were studied were mainly Lactobacilli. It showed that taking probiotics in the early stages of pregnancy greatly lowered the risks of pre-term birth. These bacteria also appeared to play a key role in vaginal health, fighting pathogens, and maintaining pH.
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About The Author
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.